Folks have had much to say about the truncating of Far East tournaments and not much of it kindly (including me). To be fair to the folks on the other side of my loud- and long-stated viewpoint, a few points driven home to me in the past few days:
-- What may seem token in terms of budget savings does, in fact, add up. It may not reach targeted goals that DODDS Pacific may have set or have been asked to cut (I'm told the athletics budget is $280,000 in the red), but a thousand here, a couple more thousand there, several hundred elsewhere ... and creatively finding ways to trim that hadn't been discussed at the ADs meeting ... can eventually get within the ballpark. You cut one player per DODDS team in a 16-team Division I tournament? That saves anywhere between $5,000 and $8,000 depending on distance and location. It costs hundreds of dollars just to turn the key on a bus used to shuttle players to and from dorms; that can amount to substantial savings come spring with its seven Far East events, if you cut days out of them. Point being, DODDS Pacific is fully engaged in doing what it can to stanch the red ink. Even token savings speak volumes.
-- DODDS did come perilously close to having to cancel some events altogether. By taking the steps it has taken, DODDS Pacific is still able to provide a state-championship experience in all disciplines and in all seasons as it has up until now. While pool play will certainly be missed by those who experienced the full-bore five- and six-day Far East tournaments, the tournaments are still here. That's always a good thing.
-- When we're talking bringing DODDS Pacific Far East events more in line with Europe, it's not so much aligning tournament formats as it is answering the following question: How is it that DODDS Europe, with twice as many schools as the Pacific has, can get its tournaments done in three days, while it takes DODDS Pacific five and six days to do theirs with barely half the teams?
-- Let's hope and pray that the Jan. 1 Thelma-and-Louise-style headlong fall off the Fiscal Cliff doesn't take place. And I mean pray. For that would send us as perilously close to the full-slate cancellation Armageddon DODDS experienced in 1980-81 as it’s come since. Even without sequestration, I had already come to terms that the new-age football experience would be a one-year one. It might yet. The Grinch has nothing on sequestration. Trust me.